Phospholipid binding by a synaptic vesicle protein homologous to the regulatory region of protein kinase C

Nature. 1990 May 17;345(6272):260-3. doi: 10.1038/345260a0.


Neurotransmitters are released at synapses by the Ca2(+)-regulated exocytosis of synaptic vesicles, which are specialized secretory organelles that store high concentrations of neurotransmitters. The rapid Ca2(+)-triggered fusion of synaptic vesicles is presumably mediated by specific proteins that must interact with Ca2+ and the phospholipid bilayer. We now report that the cytoplasmic domain of p65, a synaptic vesicle-specific protein that binds calmodulin contains an internally repeated sequence that is homologous to the regulatory C2-region of protein kinase C (PKC). The cytoplasmic domain of recombinant p65 binds acidic phospholipids with a specificity indicating an interaction of p65 with the hydrophobic core as well as the headgroups of the phospholipids. The binding specificity resembles PKC, except that p65 also binds calmodulin, placing the C2-regions in a context of potential Ca2(+)-regulation that is different from PKC. This is a novel homology between a cellular protein and the regulatory domain of protein kinase C. The structure and properties of p65 suggest that it may have a role in mediating membrane interactions during synaptic vesicle exocytosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Hemagglutination Inhibition Tests
  • Lipids
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Phospholipids / metabolism*
  • Protein Kinase C / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Synaptic Vesicles / metabolism*


  • Lipids
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Phospholipids
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Protein Kinase C